Martin claims maiden AFLPA MVP award

 

Richmond superstar Dustin Martin has stormed to his first AFL Players' Association most valuable player award.

The red-hot Brownlow Medal favourite has taken all before him this season, averaging 30 possessions in 23 games and kicking 32 goals.

Martin took the award, known as the Leigh Matthews Trophy, with 1333 votes ahead of Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield, who won it last year, on 776 votes and Greater Western Sydney's Josh Kelly with 416.

"To earn the respect of your peers is very humbling," Martin said.

"I think all of the guys who got nominated are champions, so I'm very humbled.

"It's a bit surreal ... you've got to pinch yourself.

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"I've just kept working hard on all areas of my game ... I've said before you just try and improve each year that you're in the competition."

Adelaide's Rory Sloane was fourth (267 votes) and Sydney's Lance Franklin fifth (215).

Martin joined greats of the game such as Gary Ablett senior and junior, Tony Lockett, Jason Dunstall, Andrew McLeod, Robert Harvey and Chris Judd in winning the player-voted award.

Sloane also took out the most courageous player award, while Crows skipper Taylor Walker was named best captain.

Essendon rising star winner Andrew McGrath added another honour, the No.1 draft pick named the AFLPA's best first-year player.

Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli was named the captain of the best 22 players under 22-years-old - a team voted on by fans.


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